Sheriff Minetta faked his own death, Josie pulled Archie out of his tailspin, and Kelly Ripa guest starred as an opportunistic and villainous water health investigator on Riverdale Season 3 Episode 11.
Below, TV Fanatics Brandon Vieira, Kat Pettibone, and Becca Newton debate Hermione's master plan, Penelope's long list of murders, and Archie's new truce with Hiram.
Riverdale Season 3 Episode 11 was structured similarly to a crime drama, thanks to its tone, the characters' dialogue, and the editing effect. Did you like this style choice or were you not a fan?
Brandon: I'm not really a film noir fan and Riverdale wasn't able to change my opinion. The show already has its own mystery elements, so this whole episode felt super extra.
The only bonus was that the parents got a little bit more action, but can we separate their narrative from the teens' narrative for the foreseeable future? It seems strange that all these adults are after these kids. Don't they have better adult things to do?
Jughead: No rest for the wicked.
Betty: Not in a wicked town.
Kat: While I do believe noir episodes can be successful, I don't feel like Riverdale really hit the mark with this one. As Brandon said, Riverdale is already dark, mysterious, racy and full of camp.
Noir episodes are more fun when they're used in shows that don't already touch on the normal noir tropes. If they were going to do it, I think they should have gone with black and white, bigger wardrobe changes, etc. Simply adding "noir elements" felt muddled, considering that's something they (albeit inconsistently) play with anyway.
I also felt like although a theme of noir is "multiple reveals," there were too many coming out of left field moments this episode, even for Riverdale.
Becca: Since Riverdale is crime drama on a weekly basis, the extra stylistic choices didn't elevate this episode into an event like "The Midnight Club" or the Carrie musical. "The Red Dahlia" was still enjoyable. The noir elements seemed to add more levity than is typical, which I liked.
One aspect where I thought the noir styling did help the episode standout in a good way was with Jughead's opening voiceover. The more energetic tone was a nice change of pace from the ponderous voiceovers of most episodes.
Hermione and FP orchestrated Hiram's shooting, and then Hermione tried to backstab FP. Share your thoughts about her criminal plan.
Brandon: This was a great episode for Hermione. For the entire season, it felt like she was just a piece of decorative furniture for Hiram and Riverdale. She didn't do much.
However, this reveal showed that she was, in fact, doing a lot behind the scenes and she knows how to manipulate everyone into thinking she's simply the doting wife and picture-perfect mayor.
Hermione should not be left to hide in corners anymore. She's too smart and too good to not have her master manipulation displayed on a weekly basis.
Veronica: I’ve got a job for you, Jones. I want you to find out who shot my father.
[Veronica drops a wad of cash. Jughead looks through it]
Veronica: You’ll get the other half when you give me their name.
Jughead: This is a big job. Look, half the people in this town want to see your old man kick the maple bucket. No offense.
Veronica: None taken. I’ll give you your first suspect: my mother.
Kat: Out of every reveal they threw at us, Hermione orchestrating Hiram being shot was by far the best. Making FP the person to actually pull the trigger, just enchanted that storyline even more.
Not only was it genuinely surprising, but it also had a clear and concise motive, and explains a little bit why Hermione's character has been so disconnected lately.
The characters were obviously flying under the radar until this secret came out.
I always suspect Hermione had more to her than being a complacent wife, and I'm glad to see I was right. This seemed like a bigger, better version of what they tried to do on Riverdale Season 2 with revealing her to be the "head mobster/mob wife." That was convoluted, confusing, and never really explained.
This was well thought out and executed pretty flawlessly. I'm looking forward to seeing her more involved with the storyline going forward!
Becca: Hermione's constant backstabbing highlights some of her weaknesses. First, she needs to choose between getting money or getting revenge because trying to have her cake and eat it too isn't working out.
Secondly, if she wants to get out from under Hiram's thumb, then she should be forming a coalition that can challenge him while keeping herself at the top of the pyramid.
Hiram may be in a weakened position, but he's not out of the game. Meanwhile, Hermione killed the only person (that we currently know of) who actually seemed interested in being loyal to her over Hiram. Now that she alienated FP, she loses the chance to get the Serpents and most of the other Riverdale parents onto her side.
Maybe she can convince Penelope to join forces, but unless that happens or some new faces show up, Hermione is very much on her own.
Penelope was revealed to have murdered Clifford and Claudius Blossom, and Daryl Doily. Will she ever be charged for her crimes?
Brandon: I think she will eventually but not anytime soon, and knowing Riverdale her jail cell will be right next to Hal Cooper. It'll be the ultimate ending for a love story between two psychotic murderers.
While Betty seems like the obvious choice to get justice and make Penelope pay for her crimes, I would love for Cheryl to be that person. Penelope's the worst mother ever, so giving Cheryl the chance to finally make her mother pay for everything she's done for her would be sweet.
Archie: Josie, you can’t tell Veronica about this.
Josie: Listen up, Andrews. You are in freefall and I am not having it! It’s time for a literal and metaphorical cold shower.
Archie: Wait, Josie, don’t!
[Josie turns on the cold shower]
Kat: Chances are yes, at some point. But soon? Highly unlikely. This is Riverdale, after all.
I'm glad Penelope was finally pinned down for some of her heinous crimes, after getting away with so much for so long, but I wasn't as impressed with these reveals as I was with Hermione's. Did we need to bring Clifford back up?
Riverdale Season 1 and Riverdale Season 2's plotlines just won't seem to die on this show, and I'm hoping that now she's confused, we can move onto bigger and better things, even if she doesn't pay for what she's done quite yet.
Becca: It's hard to predict because Penelope might be one of those villains who does get off scot-free, especially if the focus is more on taking down the Lodges, and there's still The Farm to worry about.
I could envision this season ending with her being the last villain standing, and she winds up taking over and becoming the main antagonist for the next.
Archie finally achieved a truce with Hiram. Do you think this alliance will last?
Brandon: It needs to! Archie and Hiram's feud has been dragged on for way too long and has been dragging Riverdale down along with it. It feels like the show's rebooting Archie in a way and having him cut ties with both Veronica romantically and Hiram as his enemy is the best way to do it.
Hiram can continue to make enemies and cause evil (amongst the adults in Riverdale, hopefully). Meanwhile, Archie can continue this journey of finding himself again. It would be great to see Archie reconnect with friends of his like Betty and Kevin. People he was once so close to before his life became so chaotic.
Bring back the old Archie, please!
Hiram: We’ve been locked in battle for some time now, huh?
Archie: I never set out to be your enemy, Mr. Lodge. All I want is to live in Riverdale in peace.
Hiram: Well, I see no reason for us to keep fighting. So, starting tonight I propose a truce. You don’t make a move against me; I don’t make a move against you. A life for a life.
[Hiram extends his hand, Archie shakes it]
Kat: Obviously not. I hated this. Yes, I suppose Hiram being shot could be a catalyst for his redemption arc, moving Hermione into the role of antagonist, but how believable would that be?
After everything that he's done, one shot to the gut changes him into a better man? And a simple handshake holds a deal together? I don't think so, just last season Archie has to bleed out in order to seal a deal. I don't see Hiram changing, and I'm disappointed Archie bought into it so easily.
Wasn't the point of Archie going through that weird acid trip to show us that he's a "different Archie"? A darker, smarter Archie?
I'm not saying he should have killed Hiram, but these two literally spent the entire of Riverdale Season 2 at odds with one another. All that is erased now? What was the point?
Becca: No. Hiram isn't trustworthy, has too much pride, and is going to continue scheming. He'll go back on his word as soon as it's convenient.
It's also a very flimsy truce. Sure, Hiram promises to not go after Archie, but Fred and everyone else Archie cares about are still fair game. Furthermore, since Hiram's actions affect everyone, Archie will still be suffering the consequences even if Hiram is no longer targeting him specifically.
Sheriff Minetta was revealed to be alive ... and now he's dead (again). React!
Brandon: It was the perfect Riverdale plot twist. Minetta's first "death" seemed random, no rhyme or reason behind it.
The "he's alive" twist and is secretly Hermione's boy toy would have been enough of a reveal, but Hermione shooting him felt the perfect way to show that Hermione has changed and is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure she remains at the top of the food chain.
Minetta's second death played a real purpose this time, which doesn't always happen on Riverdale, so I'm going to take it as a victory.
Kat: Definitely surprising, since I thought a decapitation was pretty solid ground for assuming someone is truly dead. I didn't see the Hermione and Minetta affair coming, and once again, I was pleased that there were a few reveals that genuinely shocked me.
However, why bring him back just to immediately kill him again? Maybe it made Hermione more menacing, but I think we could have done without it?
Kept him around for a little longer, and made his reveal a little more worth it. Shocking reveals are nice, but I still want them to have a motive or be a way to move the story forward.
Becca: Of all the characters Riverdale brought back and then quickly killed off, Minetta was the one I was least invested in. He only became interesting once we discovered his affair with Hermione.
While I understand the need to keep upping the body count, I am getting tired of Riverdale killing characters off before maximizing on their potential.
Veronica and Reggie burned all of the Lodge's supply of Fizzle Rocks. Should the characters be afraid of Hermione's mysterious "supplier"?
Brandon: Are these Riverdale kids scared of anything? Despite the answer to that being a big fat "no," they should be, especially if they knew what Hermione's capable of. She's become lethal and I imagine she keeps some pretty lethal company with her.
The supplier has to be someone dangerous and Veggie better watch out!
Kat: Hermione is pretty intimidating herself, so if she's genuinely afraid of this supplier, my instincts would say yes. However, something tells me that supplier is Gladys Jones, and things are about to get even more complicated in the town of Riverdale.
Either way, can we talk about how Reggie went and stole all those drugs by himself?
I know it's Riverdale, and you have to suspend your grip on reality a little bit, but I don't think I'll ever get past the idea of these kids being mob bosses, murderers, crime-solving detectives, and thieves, while the adults cower in corners, afraid of their own children.
Becca: Based on the preview, Veronica and Reggie are in hot water, and it's likely because of the "supplier." With Tall Boy, Minetta, Claudius dead and who knows when Penny will be back. Now would be a good time to introduce a new antagonist.
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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.